My Watermark is Lake Huron and in part Georgian Bay.
I have had a lifetime of experience on, by and in Georgian Bay having spent almost every summer since my birth until age 26 at my family cottage that was perched on its shores. I have always felt a deep and special connection with the place. It taught me to be respectful of the water as a powerful resource as well as something to be wary of when the winds blew too hard and the waves grew too big.
It taught me how much water we used in our day to day and how to conserve. Every trip down to turn on the gas pump at the shoreline to fill the water tank behind the cottage was reminder not to waste running water. This of course wasn’t potable as it came straight from the lake and infact was really just a measure of the water we used for dishes, bathing and cleaning. Drinking water had to be purchased and then make the boat ride and trip up the hill to the cottage.
The water was also a source of joy and play, relief on a hot day, a soother of mosquito bites and sunburns. On sunny days it would sparkle like it had diamonds on the water, and in the darkest, calmest night it reflected the stars.
When the cottage was sold, I said goodbye to the land but I didn’t say goodbye to the water. I knew I would see it again. Sure enough this past summer in July I visited Manitoulin Island for the first time and was able to swim in Lake Huron once again. It was on a short day trip to Misery Bay Provincial Park to see the coastal alvars. Here I was able to see Lake Huron from a different shoreline. The water had a turquoise colour and the rocks that lead into the water were unlike anything I’d ever seen before, both smooth and pockmarked at the same time.
But as I took off my shoes and slipped my feet in the water to cool them off I felt the lake again. The sensation of the slippery rocks that had sent me tumbling in so many times before was there, the gentle lapping on a hot day and the relief of the cool clear water, it was like greeting an old friend.
This will not be the last time I visit Lake Huron and I hope to explore all of its shorelines now.